IWLA urges the U.S. Congress to extend the positive train control rule in the next highway bill to give the railroads a more appropriate timeframe to be in compliance. The deadline to extend PTC is before November, otherwise railroads predict a possible disruption in the supply of vital commodities impacting every sector of the economy.
The letter states: “A shutdown of rail service is very real, and rail customers are already starting to feel the impacts. We have received notifications that disruptions will begin next month to complete shipments that are in transit and that railroads will not accept new shipments. With a shutdown just around the corner, rail customers must start putting contingency plans into motion, including adjusting production schedules and workforce levels.”
IWLA members who rely on rail networks to move goods will face a serious hardship in a shutdown. According to one estimation, “A recent economic impact analysis by the American Chemistry Council calculated that a one month shutdown will pull $30 billion out of the economy with a loss of 700,000 jobs.”
Positive train control is a safety measure that stops a rail accident before it occurs. This is a critical measure that requires ample time, investment, and implementation to get the rail system operating efficiently. With safety in mind, for economic and health benefits, IWLA members support an upgrade of our rail system that is void of service disruptions.